Education Highlight – The changing public health landscape creates several new challenges and opportunities for local and state health departments. To take advantage of some of these new opportunities, many departments are placing a greater emphasis on community and strategic planning, analyzing new data, focusing more on quality improvement and performance management, and forming collaborative partnerships to improve population health outcomes. However, these changes have forced local and state health agencies to reassess the skills and competencies of their public health workforce. Knowing this the college of public health has offered a range of education and training opportunities of the current public health workforce.
The newest opportunity is a satellite site to offer face-to-face certificate courses in Lincoln at the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department. This opportunity was developed as a partnership with Judy Halstead the director of health department. Director Halstead recognized that she wanted more formally trained public health practitioners in the health department and committed to supporting on class a year for any employee taking a class. The first class offered was in the fall of 2016. Ten health department staff representing 5 different units took the Foundations of Public Health class. In fall 2017 the COPH will offer another course for these staff and potentially another cohort. Dr. Grimm, Director of the OPHP said, “it is very exciting that LLCHD has made public health education a priority. As public health transforms into a new era of public health 3.0 we will need skilled practitioners and leaders to assure the conditions that all Nebraskan’s can be healthy. We are thrilled that the COPH is able to partner with LLCHD”.
The goal of this pilot program is to increase the number of formally trained practitioners in our local and state health departments. We will promote the Lincoln courses to other health departments who find it more convenient to attend courses in Lincoln. For more information about this project please contact. Dr. Brandon Grimm at firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 559-5645
Brandon Grimm, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the UNMC COPH Department of Health Promotion.